Thoughts on: Technological Integration

by Beauchamp Art

Something like Google Glass may inevitably be used as a further means of advertising as the technology becomes a compulsory part of the every day life in order to interpret the world that has been engineered around constant heads-up displays. Any chance of escaping such media becomes a decreasingly possible as man’s dependence grows on them. The technology may have to change drastically before this integration is so, Google Glass may loose its name, become a contact lens of a cybernetic implant, but the idea of a digital media perpetually implanted into the visual field may very well prevail.

This can be seen in a range of technological developments, whether that be the current trend towards Internet dependence in order to keep track of the increasing speed of information exchange, or more historically with the motor-vehicle and the need to transport goods or individuals between places; through international trade, and so forth, or more anthropologically, in order for geographically larger communities to be able to physically network. Though it must be understood that these are manufactured needs. However, as they become perceived as pivotal, they are psychosomatically transposed from wants to physiological needs. They climb Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Indeed, it may be a truism, but a television is not needed until there are televisions, et al. However, once new technologies are integrated into the networks of common living, they are difficult, if not impossible to shake off as society gradual adapts itself to such progression. This can be illustrated vividly in clothes; that rendered body hair obsolete, and allowed man to better more efficiently make use of their available resources.

Nevertheless, the argument that all new media will be used as a new way of advertising whilst becoming compulsory could be seen as rather pessimistic. For new technologies, like Google Glass also offer countless benefits to the efficiency of human operations. For example, if one is able to search for any bit of information online instantly through various online networks, and call upon this at any time, then there would be no need to learn such factoids, and that mental space can thereby be dedicated to more immediate tasks and new ways of thinking.

A reliance on a collective consciousness, such as exemplified by open contribution sites like Wikipedia is, again, nothing new. Rather than relying on the knowledge of a small tribe, there is access to a larger body of ideas. Though this could be problematic for when the majority are ‘wrong’ and a minority, or even an individual, is ‘right’ about something, as they may struggle to be heard. Nevertheless, this is an up scaling and hastening of existing process, with a range of new problems, but also new possibilities. Making grand predications is a foolhardy affair, as one cannot be in a position of understanding what the future will hold, or more importantly, how what is said now will be interpreted by persons of the future, in retrospect.

Leela:    Didn’t you have ads in the 21st century?”
Fry:    Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games… and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.

Futurama, Season 1, Episode 6: A Fishful of Dollars. [Television Series] 20th Century Fox. 27.4.1999